Study options


University Certificate

Key facts

Stoke-on-Trent campus
Study option:
Part-time, Thursday PM
1 Year
Start date:
23 September 2024

Expert academics

Research under professionals who are experts in their field

Study in our £30m Science Centre

Enjoy specialist laboratories with the latest equipment

Bespoke Facilities

Taught in our dedicated counselling facilities

Whether you’re planning a career as a counsellor, or need counselling skills in your current employment, our Certificate provides an essential foundation for your development.

This one year part-time Certificate is designed to provide you with both practical experience and theoretical understanding of counselling theory, ethics, counselling skills, and personal development.

Building on the Introduction to Basic Skills in Counselling course, it can prepare you for further study to become a qualified counsellor, or can be taken by people from other professions who want to improve their counselling skills, such as teachers and nurses.

You’ll be taught by qualified and practising counsellors with wide-ranging experience, and develop your skills working with other students in small groups.

We have dedicated counselling facilities including a specialist base room, three purpose-designed counselling rooms, and a video observation suite.

On successful completion of study, we will issue the following award: University Certificate Counselling

Course content

This programme involves three scheduled hours of lectures, tuition and group sessions per week. 

We teach five different theories of counselling, giving you a broad view of approaches to prepare you for further study. The taught theories align with those used by professional training courses at Staffordshire University.

As part of your personal development, you’ll keep a journal, reflecting on your experiences and helping you to develop an awareness of your own beliefs and values.


The tables provide an indicative list of the modules that make up the course for the current academic year. Each module is worth a specified number of credits. Our teaching is informed by research, and modules change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline. We aim to ensure that all modules run as scheduled. If for any reason a module cannot be run we will advise you as soon as possible and will provide guidance on selecting an appropriate alternative module where available.

Year 1 compulsory modules
Year 1 compulsory modules
Counselling Standards And Ethical Awareness 20 credits
Developing Critical Reflexivity In Counselling 20 credits
Exploring Theory And Developing Counselling Skills 20 credits

Entry requirements

You’ll need:

  • A reference
  • To have successfully completed a level 2 Introduction to Basic Counselling Skills course or equivalent (a 30-hour face-to-face skills course)

We understand that you might have experienced a challenging run up to higher education and may have not met the entry requirements as listed. If this is the case don’t worry, contact us and our team of expert advisors can guide you through the next stages of application, or help you find the perfect course for your needs.


Many students on this course go on to further study to become qualified counsellors. Staffordshire University offers British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) accredited Professional Diploma, Postgraduate Diploma and an MSc course.

Qualified counsellors go on to work in areas including:

  • NHS counselling
  • Voluntary organisations
  • Schools
  • Private practice

Many students are already in roles where counselling skills are relevant such as:

  • Teaching
  • Chaplaincy
  • Nursery nursing
  • NHS professions
  • University mentoring
  • Helping professions in the voluntary sector
Teaching and assessment


All the content on this course is delivered to you by experienced counsellors who are currently in practice. Our tutors utilise interactive lectures to help you develop an understanding of ethics, theory and counselling skills and understand how these are applied in real world counselling contexts.

The skills element of this course will give students the opportunity to engage in practicing counselling skills with their peers in small groups. This allows students the chance to experience the client and counsellor roles as well as receive and provide useful feedback from peers and tutors.

When exploring personal and professional development on this course you will be guided through how to use reflective cycles to increase personal awareness and reflexivity. This will be further developed through weekly personal development groups facilitated by a tutor. You will also keep a weekly personal development journal to help you further reflect on your experiences throughout the course.

Please note that there will be a compulsory personal development workshop day held on a Saturday within the first month of the start of the course.


Your performance on the course will be assessed in a number of ways. For Theory you’ll need to submit an essay comparing two counselling theories.

You’ll be assessed by skills recording and critique of the session. For Personal Development, you’ll give a summary of your journal, reflecting on your developing self-awareness and changes you may have made during the course that inform your developing counsellor role.

You’ll also need to attend at least 80% of the course sessions to successfully complete the award.

Learning support

In addition to the excellent support you will receive from your course teaching team, our central Academic Skills team provides group and one-to-one help to support your learning in a number of areas. These include:

  • study skills such as reading, note-taking and presentation skills
  • written English, including punctuation and grammatical accuracy
  • academic writing and how to reference
  • research skills
  • critical thinking and understanding arguments
  • revision, assessment and examination skills
  • time management

Additional support

Our Student Inclusion Services support students with additional needs such as sensory impairment, or learning difficulties such as dyslexia.


You’ll receive weekly feedback on your skills development, and be taught how to give peer feedback at group sessions.

We’ll provide feedback on your assignments within 20 days of submission.

You’ll receive two tutorials during the year – or more if required.

There will also be opportunities for you to give feedback on your experience of the course.

Independent learning

You’re expected to undertake an amount of independent learning, reading around various topics. Our recommended books are stocked by the University library and available online.


Jacqueline Jouannet


I am a lecturer on the MSc in Psychotherapeutic Counselling and course lead on the University Certificate in Counselling. I work as a counsellor/supervisor in private practice, with interest in working with school counsellors in educational settings

Jacqueline's profile


For the course starting on 23 September 2024 the tuition fees are:

Tuition fees for University Certificate-Part-time, Thursday PM
Study option

When studied part time, the duration of the course and the amount of fees you’ll pay each year depends on the speed at which you wish to progress through it. This is called the ‘intensity of study’. The usual study pattern on this programme enables you to complete modules totalling 60 credits in your first year of study. This would be equivalent to studying at 50 per cent course intensity.

If you follow this pattern of study you will complete the course in six years. You will pay the pro rata (equivalent) fee shown for your first year of study. This tuition fee is agreed subject to UK government policy and parliamentary regulation. If the UK government passes appropriate legislation, the fee for subsequent years of study may increase in each academic year. But this increase will not exceed the rate of inflation as measured by RPIX*. Any change in fees will apply to both new and continuing students. The University will notify students of any increase as early as possible. Further information about fee changes would be posted on the University’s website once this becomes available.

*RPIX is a measure of inflation equivalent to all the items in the Retail Price Index (RPI) excluding mortgage interest payments.

If you would like to know more about the fees listed and what this means to you then please get in touch with our Enquiries Team.

Accommodation and living costs
Accommodation and living costs

Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees. 

Sources of financial support

If you receive funding from Student Finance you may be eligible to apply for additional benefits. Details can be obtained by reading our additional funding web pages, or visiting

Scholarships and additional funding

As an undergraduate student at Staffordshire, you may be eligible for additional financial support through one of our scholarships and bursaries. You can visit our funding page to find out more and check your eligibility.


Location Award Study option Start date Apply Link
Stoke-on-Trent campus University Certificate Part-time, Thursday PM 23 September 2024 Apply now

Rules and regulations

If you are offered a place at Staffordshire University, your offer will be subject to our rules, regulations and enrolment conditions, which may vary from time to time.

Students of Staffordshire University enter into a contract with us and are bound by these rules and regulations, which are subject to change. For more information, please see: University Policies and Regulations.

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